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21.11.2003 Regional News

World AIDS Day launched in Mfantseman

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Saltpond (C/R), Nov. 20, GNA - World AIDS Day has been launched at Saltpond in the Mfantseman District with a call on Ghanaians to stop regarding people living with AIDS as outcasts since such attitude contribute to the spread of the disease.

Miss Christine Antor, District AIDS Co-ordinator, noted that the passive attitude towards people living with AIDS was a disservice to the efforts to curb its spread.

Miss Antor, a Principal Nursing Office said the disease was spreading fast in the district, adding that, in October, this year, out of 18 suspected HIV cases tested at the Saltpond Hospital, 10 proved positive.

She said in 2001 out of 91 suspected cases 60 proved positive, in 2002 65 out of 97 suspected cases proved positive, while 46 out of 78 cases from January to September 2003 proved positive.

Miss Gladys Amegbletor, Plan, Ghana, NGO AIDS Co-ordinator, appealed to Ghanaians to give a little comfort to AIDS patients who should be made to feel part and parcel of the society.

Miss Amegbletor said the attitude of people towards them would determine their longevity, adding that, they also needed balanced diet to prolong their lifespan.

Mr Jonathan Benefo, District AIDS Monitoring and Focal Person, appealed to the government not to limit HIV testing to the urban centres alone but should be extended to rural areas.

He appealed to the Ghana AIDS Commission to release testing equipment to health facilities and to place NGOs campaigning against the spread of HIV/AIDS under the control of District Assemblies to facilitate easy monitoring of their activities.

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